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The Road to Resurrection (2000 points, Wood Elves vs. High Elves, tournament prep!)
jonathan e
With a week off work and Warhammer: Resurrection on the horizon (still touch and go whether the event can go ahead or not, but we're assuming yes until we hear no), it's time to take the Wood Elves out for a spin against a real live other person.

Your advice has been graciously noted, gents, and I've reluctantly benched my Alter Noble to make space for a Spellweaver and a bit more staying power. The new black looks a bit like this:

Download source  Code
Spellweaver
Level 4 wizard
Stone of the Crystal Mere
Ranu’s Heartstone
Dispel Scroll

Branchwraith
Level 1 wizard
Annoyance of Netlings
Cluster of Radiants

Noble
Battle Standard
Light armour

10 Glade Guard

10 Glade Guard

5 Scouts

5 Scouts

8 Dryads

8 Dryads

20 Eternal Guard
Champion, musician, standard bearer

4 Tree Kin

Treeman




People's Prince Ben P has stepped up to provide opposition with his customary High Elves and, by my request, his newfangled Skaven (if we have time for a second game).

I have no idea what he's packed in his rat sandwich, but the High Elf list is his usual fourth edition starter box special. He's traded out his brick of Dragon Princes in favour of Swordmasters, but otherwise I'm confidently predicting Lore of Light and High Magic on the wizards, the usual magic missile ring and scrolls, and nothing especially fancy in the banner department.

Download source  Code
Prince
Pure of Heart
Swordmaster
Armour of Protection

Level 2 Mage
Channeller, Seer, Silver Wand

Level 2 Mage
Dispel Scroll, Amulet of the Purifying Flame

20 Spearmen
First Among Equals
Champion, musician, standard bearer (War Banner)

20 Spearmen
Champion, musician, standard bearer

10 Archers

10 Archers

5 Reavers

20 Swordmasters
Champion, musician, standard bearer (Banner of Sorcery)

2 Bolt Throwers




Games are on tomorrow: I just need to get 20 Eternal Guard in a state of "built" by teatime today. Place yer bets...
Edited by jonathan e on 05-06-2021 08:30
SIXTH EDITION WFB STATS
VC original run: 20 / 6 / 21
VC comeback tour: 5 / 0 / 4
WE fresh start: 1/-/1

THIRD EDITION 40k STATS
to be confirmed...
 
https://maledicton.games
jonathan e
The place: a recently-reopened Bristol Independent Gaming.
The time: about quarter to one on a Thursday afternoon.
The situation: GAME ON!

I've amended the previous post to add most of Ben's magic item loadout (I'm not sure what he had on the second Mage). Spells and other preamble were as follows:

I opted to fish on the Lore of Athel Loren and ended up with Tree Singing, The Twilight Host, Ariel’s Blessing and Call of the Hunt on the Druid, and The Hidden Path on the Maven.

While I know some people pooh-pooh the Lore of Athel Loren for its lack of offensive toothiness, I look at it and see a fascinating set of tricks for movement, damage resistance and psychological warfare, with only two spells really limited in their effectiveness (although most limited in their range).

On Ben's part, Prince Avouril took command, thanks to a kind Intrigue at Court roll. Arlen had Walk Between Worlds and Fury of Khaine and was deployed with the First Among Equals Spearmen, Elyon had Flames of the Phoenix, Curse of Arrow Attraction and Fortune is Fickle and was deployed with the Swordmasters alongside Avouril.

The Field


maledictionofnagash.files.wordpress.com/2021/06/img_20210603_131546.jpg

I had every intention of refusing my right flank, leaving Scouts and Uchelwydd the Treeman to detain and deter the High Elves on that side while focusing the bulk of my efforts on deleting the Swordmasters early on, holding them with the Eternal Guard and then having Forest Spirits swing in to finish them off.

You’ll have to squint to spot the Druid: he’s cowering behind that central hill (on which it would be rude not to set up the Glade Guard, really).

Despite my being ahead in terms of droppage, Ben won the roll-off and took the first turn.

High Elves Turn One

maledictionofnagash.files.wordpress.com/2021/06/img_20210603_131826.jpg

The bulk of the High Elf army made either no advances, or only very cautious ones to correct line of sight issues; only the Reavers made a fast flanking darting type manoeuvre down the side.

There followed a dreadful opening magic phase in which Flames of the Phoenix was not successfully cast on the Dryads, Fortune is Fickle was not successfully cast on the Maven, and Curse of Arrow Attraction was not successfully cast on the Dryads either, leaving me with a big heap of Dispel dice to make Walk Between Worlds go away.

Ben did manage to kill a couple of the right hand Dryads with massed longbow fire, and three Glade Guard from the right hand unit with his Bolt Throwers, but all Panic tests were passed. A somewhat feeble opener.

Wood Elves Turn One

maledictionofnagash.files.wordpress.com/2021/06/img_20210603_133123.jpg

maledictionofnagash.files.wordpress.com/2021/06/img_20210603_133127.jpg

My first discovery: it is surprisingly hard to summarise the way this Wood Elf army moves, as everything shifts and dances around with rather more fluidity than my usual ponderous Undead.

Essentially, everything on my left flank piled into the wood, the Eternal Guard moved up to stand off against the Swordmasters, the Scouts advanced to get line of sight on the Reavers and Bolt Throwers, and Uchelwydd the Treeman marched up ready to get into the nearby Spearmens’ grill.

Tree Singing only achieved a 2″ shuffle on the wood, not quite the dramatic impact I’d hoped for, but Call of the Hunt went off with Irresistible Force, shoving Uchelwydd forward 4″ and into Strangleroot range of the Spearmen!

He misfired, but he tried, and that’s the main thing. The rest of my shooting killed one Reaver, four Swordmasters, and scratched the paintwork on the Repeater Bolt Thrower on the hill.

High Elves Turn Two

maledictionofnagash.files.wordpress.com/2021/06/img_20210603_134528.jpg

maledictionofnagash.files.wordpress.com/2021/06/img_20210603_134719.jpg

Passing their Terror test and deciding that it was better to do than die, the Spearmen charged Uchwelwydd (after passing their Fear test, pick pick scab scab) and prayed for sixes.

Flames of the Phoenix got my Dispel Scroll, and I allowed Fortune is Fickle through on the Maven (she wasn’t really planning to cast any time soon anyway) so I could save my dice for Fury of Khaine on the Scouts.

Ben’s shooting killed a Scout and a Glade Guard (really not doing too well on that front).

Predictably, the High Elf Spearmen were unable to wound the Treeman; Uchelwydd only killed one of them in return, but held thanks to Stubborn and the re-roll from Gwydion.

Wood Elves Turn Two

maledictionofnagash.files.wordpress.com/2021/06/img_20210603_140658.jpg

Everyone in the forest piled out of the forest; the Scouts to shoot up those wayward Reavers before they could get up to mischief, the Tree Kin to face off against the First Among Equals Spearmen, and the Maven and her Dryads to spread out and prepare to Terror bomb Ben’s infantry line with a quick blast of the ol’ Twilight Host.

The other Dryads looped around to flank the Less Equal Than Others Spearmen, while the Eternal Guard moved up toward the Swordmasters, trying to keep Gwydion near every combat I was expecting to fight. I also pulled the Druid up onto the hill to try and stay away from those Reavers; this would prove to be Not A Good Enough Idea.

Sadly, Ben dispelled Twilight Host and Scrolled Call of the Hunt.

Shooting felled two Reavers (who did not Panic), two Swordmasters and absolutely nothing to do with any Bolt Thrower crew; in combat, the Spearmen didn’t scratch Uchelwydd and he flattened three of them in return, losing but holding once again.

High Elves Turn Three

Ben declared three charges. I was fine with two of them. One… less so.

maledictionofnagash.files.wordpress.com/2021/06/img_20210603_141917.jpg

maledictionofnagash.files.wordpress.com/2021/06/img_20210603_141920.jpg

maledictionofnagash.files.wordpress.com/2021/06/img_20210603_141923.jpg

Walk Between Worlds wasn’t going to make any difference, so I let it through. Curse of Arrow Attraction on the Maven’s unit was, so it absolutely got dispelled. There wasn’t a lot else Ben’s Mages could do, since they were both in combat now.

All of Ben’s Archers whiffed, but the Bolt Throwers took out all but one of the Dryads threatening to support Uchelwydd and that was deemed Good Enough, Actually.

Then close combat, and gosh it was a debacle for the Elves of a Sylvan Persusasion.

The Tree-Kin utterly whiffed, lost by one, and fled, narrowly outpacing the First Among Equals Spearmen.

I wasn’t sure if the Druid could legitimately issue a challenge and limit the number of attacks that came his way, but it was basically a moot point as he failed his very first Ward save and the Stone of the Crystal Mere promptly stopped working; he broke, ran, and was chased down by the Reavers, who went into the back of the Glade Guard unit. Should have taken Glamourweave. Should have put him in a bloomin’ unit too.

Meanwhile, after another round of failing to be hurt, Uchelwydd failed his Break test (not a lot you can do about a ten, then an eleven on the reroll) and was promptly chased down by the Possibly Better Than The First Among Equals After All Spearmen.

At least the Eternal Guard held out, with Gwydion even managing to land a wound on Elyon the Less Ethereal Mage, although the Swordmasters’ Champion was able to cut down his arboreal counterpart with minimal fuss.

Wood Elves Turn Three

maledictionofnagash.files.wordpress.com/2021/06/img_20210603_143833.jpg

Things were starting to look bleak, but I’ve come back from worse. The lone Dryad up top didn’t make her charge on the Bolt Thrower, but the Maven and co managed theirs into the Swordmasters’ flank, and the Tree-Kin rallied.

All my available missile units pivoted to focus the First Among Equals Spearmen, and successfully removed eight of them from the battlefield. (Fortune is Fickle, incidentally, was quietly Dispelled in the meantime.)

My engaged Glade Guard took a kicking from the Reavers, but the four who remained passed their Break test.

In the important combat, Prince Avouril issued a challenge which the Maven gleefully accepted; thanks to her Annoyance of Netlings, she took no hits and landed a wound in return. Gwydion chopped Elyon’s other arm off, removing the mage from the equation, and the Wood Elves managed two kills on the Swordmasters for one in return. A win… but not enough, and the Swordmasters held.

maledictionofnagash.files.wordpress.com/2021/06/img_20210603_150610.jpg

High Elves Turn Four

maledictionofnagash.files.wordpress.com/2021/06/img_20210603_151530.jpg

I don’t have a good movement shot of this turn, so here’s a close-up of the Surprisingly Effective Spearmen instead.

Most of Ben’s army shuffled, unwilling to commit to further atrocities now they’d taken some hits and had Scouts in their awkward angles. Four Dispel dice from me stopped Curse of Arrow Attraction on the Tree-Kin and I had to let Fury of Khaine go but, fortunately, it whiffed. Ben’s shooting eliminated the last rogue Dryad and killed a Scout on the right flank, but otherwise didn’t amount to much.

In combat, the Maven and the Prince continued to defy each other’s best efforts; he couldn't hit her, but she couldn't get past his ward save. Blows were exchanged; three Swordmasters and four Eternal Guard lay dead; I lost by one, but held thanks to the re-roll from Gwydion’s big flag. Meanwhile, the Glade Guard excelled themselves by driving off the Reavers (who fled off the board) and restraining themselves from giving chase. And it was my turn next. Heh, heh, heh…

Wood Elves Turn Four

maledictionofnagash.files.wordpress.com/2021/06/img_20210603_151335.jpg

The Tree-Kin charged the First Among Equals Spearmen, who (in their now dramatically reduced capacity) elected to flee. Everyone else pivoted to face the Not So Equal After All Spearmen, nocked arrows, and prepared to let rip.

Seven Spearmen fell, and incidentally, the Maven cast The Hidden Path on the Tree-Kin, successfully rendering them immune to any Bolt Thrower nonsense that happened to point their way.

In combat, the whiff-fest continued between the two duelling characters, and the troops followed their example; the Swordmasters, who’d fanned out to get every surviving model in combat, didn’t kill a damn thing, while the Dryads and Eternal Guard only managed one each.

That was enough, though; the Swordmasters had lost and this time, the Dryads outnumbered them. Off they went, with Gwydion and the Eternal Guard managing to chase them down. And end up standing right in front of a High Elf shooting phase.

High Elves Turn Five

maledictionofnagash.files.wordpress.com/2021/06/img_20210603_152845.jpg

The Less Equal Than Others Spearmen failed their charge on the closest Glade Guard unit, and lost a body to the stand-and-shoot reaction into the bargain. Ben’s magic was a non-starter, with nothing relevant to cast, but his shooting was effective enough. He killed all the Eternal Guard but for the Standard Bearer, who suddenly found himself holding two flags, standing next to Gwydion’s even bigger flag, and fast running out of hands.

Wood Elves Turn Five

maledictionofnagash.files.wordpress.com/2021/06/img_20210603_154354.jpg

This may look suspiciously similar to the last image, but inspect more closely. You will observe that the Dryads have leapfrogged the flag fanciers' convention in the middle there (and also received The Hidden Path to protect against any further Bolt Thrower incidents); the Tree Kin have chased off the First Among Equals Spearmen again following a brisk, brutal round of combat; and everyone else has eliminated the Second Among Equals Doesn’t Mean Squat Spearmen with some close-range volley fire.

High Elves Turn Six

maledictionofnagash.files.wordpress.com/2021/06/img_20210603_154458.jpg

There was only one way to clear the fire lanes for every available Bolt Thrower, and Ben took it, piling a unit of Archers into the Maven and her mates. He opened magical hostilities with an Irresistible Fury of Khaine on the Tree-Kin (good start) but called and did a total of two hits, no wounds for his trouble.

The subsequent hail of bolts finished off Gwydion and the last Eternal Guard, very unfortunate, while the Maven and co showed that weeds can whack back and disposed of the Archers in short order.

Wood Elves Turn Six

All was over bar the shouting. The Tree-Kin and Dryads both charged the fleeing High Elves right in front of them, removing them from the board and securing/contesting table quarters, while the combined firepower of the surviving Wood Elves finally removed a Bolt Thrower’s crew. Throw enough mud at a wall, and eventually you’ll get a muddy wall.

The Result

High Elves: 1228 Victory Points
Wood Elves: 2170 Victory Points

Solid Victory to the Wood Elves!


Not, I should add, that it especially felt like one; there was a point in the middle there, round about the time I nearly lost all three big units in one turn, when I honestly thought I was done for. Fortunately, the Forest Spirits didn’t let me down, and Ben’s units had to run the gauntlet of short-ranged Glade Guard shooting if they wanted to close the trap.

I’m broadly happy with the army list, but the design and execution are both not quite there yet. I'm going to do a full teardown of the list and reflect on each unit's performance in this battle, but here's the broadest possible overview:

The whole army needs to stick a little closer together, to stay within range of the General's Leadership and Battle Standard, and keep the Lore of Athel Loren within range of useful targets. I don't necessarily want to tie the Druid down by putting him in the Eternal Guard unit, but he can't afford to stand around at the back either. Also, while he should't have been caught in combat like that, he also needs protection that can be counted on when I misplay, and the "fizzles on a 1 or 2" save ain't it - the Stone is getting switched out for one of the other talismans available.

I am badly missing some aggressive interdicting units who can go out there, bully artillery pieces and archer lines, and then swing back in to support during the midgame. While I really like the Tree Kin, I think dropping them down to the minimum of three models and adding a Great Eagle can't hurt my chances. I am tempted to drop them altogether and put the Alter Noble back in; he's fast, he throws out a lot of Strength 6 hits, and he can get to the places my other pieces can't reach.

The Eternal Guard were absolutely the right choice and I take my hat off to Matty and Tony for suggesting them. Although they died to a man, they held the centre of the battlefield together for half the game and allowed the Maven to do her thing. To be frank, the centre was where I managed to play the Wood Elves properly, with units overlapping and concentrating their efforts, but I played the flanks badly with too many units expected to do the business on their own.
Edited by jonathan e on 05-06-2021 04:58
SIXTH EDITION WFB STATS
VC original run: 20 / 6 / 21
VC comeback tour: 5 / 0 / 4
WE fresh start: 1/-/1

THIRD EDITION 40k STATS
to be confirmed...
 
https://maledicton.games
Just Tony
On the Eternal Guard's sacrifice: losing your Queen to ensure a Checkmate doesn't make her suddenly NOT your most valuable piece.

As for your fast attack shortcomings: I'd think a lone Great Eagle would draw far too much fire and die in a single shooting phase on average. A unit of birds might do better, but I wonder if you might not be better served by some horsey Elves.

Past that, I can't think of any other suggestions...

*cough* Lore of Life *cough*

Damn, something must be caught in my throat...
Father, soldier, musician, Transformers fan, masochistic junior moderator type thing.
 
jonathan e
Just Tony wrote:

On the Eternal Guard's sacrifice: losing your Queen to ensure a Checkmate doesn't make her suddenly NOT your most valuable piece.


Well, quite. They did a very fine job and if I hadn't got the Ariel's Blessing dispenser killed they'd probably have survived (at least, enough of them to give me a Massacre win...).

Just Tony wrote:
As for your fast attack shortcomings: I'd think a lone Great Eagle would draw far too much fire and die in a single shooting phase on average. A unit of birds might do better, but I wonder if you might not be better served by some horsey Elves.


In the long term I think I agree with you. Sadly, in the short to medium term an Eagle's what I've got and an Eagle will have to do.

Just Tony wrote:
Past that, I can't think of any other suggestions...

*cough* Lore of Life *cough*

Damn, something must be caught in my throat...


I've read the Lore of Life, and it seems... I'm not saying I dislike it, and I'm not saying I can't see what it could have done in this battle. It suited how I played the Druid (though I think I misplayed the Druid by having him hang around back there in the first place) and if I'd rolled Master of Stone I'd have been blasting that artillery park apart early on.

But: pseudo-Ethereal, Regeneration and Fear/Terror on call, plus a movement spell (technically two if there's a well placed forest, but I can't count on that). That's a great toolkit: lousy ranges, I'll grant, but if the General is in the lines where he should be instead of prannying around at the back, range is less of a factor.

If I have the chance of a second test game before the tournament I'll give Life a spin and let you know how it turns out. And you know what else? The next event in the queue is "Monstrous Mayhem" - every list has to include a Large Target of some monstrous nature. I may actually have cause to try the Lore of Beasts.
SIXTH EDITION WFB STATS
VC original run: 20 / 6 / 21
VC comeback tour: 5 / 0 / 4
WE fresh start: 1/-/1

THIRD EDITION 40k STATS
to be confirmed...
 
https://maledicton.games
Just Tony
It's funny, but the one time I had reason to take Beasts it barely did anything. Maybe I didn't have enough chaff spells to draw out dice, and I don't remember any bound spells with my Beadtmen.
Father, soldier, musician, Transformers fan, masochistic junior moderator type thing.
 
MattyFenby
Thank you for posting this!

My kneejerk reaction after having just read other guys talk up a BsB is wow- your BsB came up clutch at least twice if not more.

I agree with Tony that a lone Great Eagle might not be enough and unlike the High Elves youre stuck at only 1 per Rare slot. I hear you that you don't have the models but I would be looking for some Warhawk models. Unit Strength 2 each, Hit-and-Run rule, and a 20" charge range means you can be engaging War Machine Crews on Turn 2 and rear-flanking the enemy center by Turn 3 or 4.

I completely, completely understand that the Treeman is compulsory for one of these games and that hes SO Wood-Elf-y but would you say he was worth his points cost on this one?


What would you guys say Ben could have improved? What were his mistakes Army List wise? (I wouldn't have brought so many Archers against Wood Elves probably?) What were his mistakes gameplay wise? (I think I would have targeted the Treeman in the Top of the 1st with both Bolt Throwers?) That's what I'm seeing but I'm no expert and I'd love to hear you guys's takes
 
jonathan e
MattyFenby wrote:

Thank you for posting this!

My kneejerk reaction after having just read other guys talk up a BsB is wow- your BsB came up clutch at least twice if not more.

I agree with Tony that a lone Great Eagle might not be enough and unlike the High Elves youre stuck at only 1 per Rare slot. I hear you that you don't have the models but I would be looking for some Warhawk models. Unit Strength 2 each, Hit-and-Run rule, and a 20" charge range means you can be engaging War Machine Crews on Turn 2 and rear-flanking the enemy center by Turn 3 or 4.


They look like a decent unit, but the search for models that I like will be a long one. (I have a deep and abiding loathing of metal models on those stupid plastic flying stems after years of corralling multiple units of Fell Bats: NEVER. AGAIN. Even if I could get them for prices below the L@@K OOP OLDHAMMER standard, I wouldn't.) In the vacuum of pure theoryhammer I can definitely see that they bring what the Eagle doesn't and to be honest I'd drop the Tree Kin like they're hot to fit some Warhawks in, they're just iconic.

MattyFenby wrote:
I completely, completely understand that the Treeman is compulsory for one of these games and that hes SO Wood-Elf-y but would you say he was worth his points cost on this one?


No, but it's my fault, not his: I left him out to dry and detoured his supporting Dryads into a shooting gallery they would have struggled to survive even if I could pass ward saves. Misplays do not invalidate the unit misplayed.

MattyFenby wrote:
What would you guys say Ben could have improved? What were his mistakes Army List wise? (I wouldn't have brought so many Archers against Wood Elves probably?) What were his mistakes gameplay wise? (I think I would have targeted the Treeman in the Top of the 1st with both Bolt Throwers?) That's what I'm seeing but I'm no expert and I'd love to hear you guys's takes


Ben normally brings a big unit of Dragon Princes as his hammer unit and I'd have been much more worried about them than the Swordmasters - they have the speed to engage early on and the saves to laugh off those early Wood Elf volleys.

When I contemplate High Elves, before washing my mouth out and saying five Hail Morathis I default to White Lions and a BSB with the Lion Guard honour over Swordmasters. Swordmasters get their swings in faster but the Lions are more resilient against shooting, they have Stubborn (so would the First Among Equals Spearmen with the BSB leading them, and there's no risk of him accidentally becoming General and ending up making Bodyguard redundant).

I might also have tinkered with the kit on the mages a little as one of them didn't end up using his item at all. High Elves have access to the best scroll caddy around (Channeller honour and two Scrolls - even I would be tempted, but then I wouldn't be seen dead playing High Elves, so it's fine) and while I like Ben's setup with Seer, Channeller and the Silver Wand I don't know if he fished for the best spells. I always want to try a minimal characters, no-risk-from-Intrigue-At-Court approach with High Elves: a Battle Standard Bearer and a spellcasting Prince with maybe one other level 2 wizzo in attendance. Then I look myself in the mirror, slap myself in the chops and resolve to steer well clear of anything in a white nightshirt.

I think Ben's targeting choice in the first round was the correct one: two Glade Guard units on the hill set up quite the killing field and getting them off the field would force me to close in. If fire had been focused on those Glade Guard throughout I wouldn't have been able to clean up his Spearmen units with such efficiency later on.

His Archers ended up out of position with nothing but skirmishers to shoot at though; I'd have brought them down and forward so they had range on some targets they could actually hit. Once the Treeman was tied up (and struggling to crack +5 static CR - he was going to fail a Break test sooner or later!) there was no excuse not to press forward on that flank - what were five Scouts going to do?
Edited by jonathan e on 10-06-2021 13:53
SIXTH EDITION WFB STATS
VC original run: 20 / 6 / 21
VC comeback tour: 5 / 0 / 4
WE fresh start: 1/-/1

THIRD EDITION 40k STATS
to be confirmed...
 
https://maledicton.games
Just Tony
Personally? My plan is to look at bird toys from the dollar stores or Hobby Lobby at worst, and simply glue Wood Elves on their backs. This has the added benefit of being cheap AND allows me to avoid pewter altogether, as I detest that medium.
Father, soldier, musician, Transformers fan, masochistic junior moderator type thing.
 
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